It was Paul's goal to show his dad and me as many of the island's sights as possible, so he planned a week's road trip through the Central Mountains, hotsprings resort towns, coastal resort towns, and numerous places in-between.
Our first stop was the Aboriginal Interpretation Center, a sprawling area nestled in the hills. We toured the museum, watched an excellent music-and-dance show representing the 12 native tribes of Taiwan, and walked through the recreated traditional villages.
The first hotel we stayed in was a remote, romantic hotsprings resort that was virtually deserted (and cheap!) because we arrived on a weekday. (Taiwan comes alive on the weekends; folks are hard at work throughout the week.) That night we all lolled in the steaming pools with jet-blackness all around. Sooo relaxing. This was a highlight of the trip for all of us; I'm used to sharing hotsprings with umpteen tourists in broad daylight, and in Taiwan we had the place all to ourselves save for two other women.
That night was also our first introduction to KTV (karaoke TV). At this particular KTV, old Chinese easy-rock songs were sung in front of a big screen on which Asian women stretched, frollicked, lolled, and did faux calisthenics in bathing suits. Paul sang a Chinese song to a storm of applause, he and Juliet did "Day-O" as a duo, and Juliet sang "A Woman in Love" beautifully with a sweet, powerhouse voice. Richard sings, but he insisted he was too tired.
There was a birthday party going on, and the birthday girl provided us with some Taiwan Beer (blech) and cheesecake (num). The hotel dog, a yellow Lab, was wandering from table to table.
Paul and I both had colds at the start of our trip. He had already gone to a clinic, where he was prescribed a packet of pills that he said kicked the crap out of his cough, so I let him take me into a small village pharmacy. A half-sauced old woman who was hanging out there with her friends insisted that Richard try a bit of her ginger-liquor medicine. He did, and says he couldn't get the weird smell off his hands for hours.
After describing my symptoms to the pharmacist, I was given a 3-day supply of assorted pills (about 5 of them) that I was supposed to take all at once twice per day. They made me pleasantly drowsy, like half a dose of Nyquil, and they truly did knock my cold on its behind! Within a couple of days I was virtually symptom-free. Too bad I have no idea what I was taking...